PC accessories brand Cooler Master announced the four organizations from four different countries that will be part of its “LATAM Crew:” The teams are Peruvian team Polaris, Argentinian CASLA Esports (owned by soccer club San Lorenzo), Colombian team Kaizen, and Mexico-based All Knights.
Cooler Master said in a release that these partnerships are part of its global marketing plan which is also being implemented in the region, “in which the brand is involved to promote professional development within the world of esports.”
Financial details were not disclosed.
2021 LEC Spring MVP, Rookie, and Coaching Staff of the Split Announced
The 2021 LEC Spring Split is officially over and, as always, at the very tail end of the playoffs, a slew of exceptional individuals — including the MVP, Rookie, and Coaching Staff of the Split — have been awarded for their excellence.
2021 LEC Spring Split MVP — A Familiar Face
A familiar veteran has been recognized for his immense contribution, and that’s none other than Martin “Rekkles” Larsson. This seasoned Swedish marksman maintained his incredible level of play despite switching teams and was often the most consistent (and impactful) player over at G2 Esports. No matter the meta or opponent, Rekkles was always sublime. He successfully teetered on the razor’s edge, always out of harm’s way and yet close enough to dish out the necessary damage and push his team ahead.
Unfortunately, his goal of once again hoisting the LEC trophy has been deferred, at least ever so slightly. G2’s loss to Rogue in the Losers’ Bracket finals was definitely a bitter pill to swallow for many G2 fans scattered across the globe but it had to happen at some point.
Fortunately, they’re still regarded as one of the best teams in the history of the region and they have all the right tools to mount a comeback and enter the 2021 LEC Summer Split in the best possible way. If they take this loss in stride and work on their flaws, there’s no doubt on anyone’s mind that we’ll be seeing them atop the region yet again!
2021 LEC Spring Rookie of the Split
MAD Lions’ staggeringly talented “rookie” jungler Javier “Elyoya” Prades has received the most votes from his peers, analysts, and media and has been proclaimed as the Rookie of the Split! Needless to say, he’s more than worthy of such a prestigious title!
Throughout the entire regular season, Elyoya has been one of MAD Lions’ most important catalysts and has stood out in all the right ways. With a 4.8 KDA (second-best), 73.7% Kill Participation (first), 29% Kill Share (first), 16.6% Death Share (second-best), and 41% First Blood rate (third-best), it’s impossible not to consider him as a premier jungling behemoth. And, to make matters even more impressive, Elyoya created his own leads — rarely did his teammates push him over the finish line.
He’s first in Gold and Experience Differentials at the ten-minute mark and second in [email protected], which means he was the driving force behind MAD Lions’ success. It all began in the jungle, and the leads Elyoya created — most of which were quite imposing — were always transferred over to the rest of his team.
His allies, of course, played an integral part as well, but Elyoya performed and delivered when it mattered most. He did have a somewhat slow start, but as the split progressed he grew and developed in the most important of ways and quickly solidified his spot at the very top of the region.
Of course, Elyoya has a ton of experience (and a slew of other awards, including LVP MVP) from the “little leagues” but no one could’ve foreseen such an impressive showing — he took very little time to prove his worth and deliver in one of the most competitive regions in the world, and a league known for its incredible junglers.
An spectacular showing through and through. To enter the league, get Rookie of the Split, and become champion in just a couple of months is truly an astonishing achievement.
2021 LEC Spring Coaching Staff of the Split
Last but certainly not least, Rogue’s coaching staff was the recipient of an award that, while somewhat overlooked, is still incredibly important. These individuals worked tirelessly (and quite effectively) with a singular goal in mind: to mold Rogue into a bona fide contender. And, needless to say, they succeeded admirably. Rogue’s entire LEC tenure has been nothing short of awe-inspiring. They went from being a bottom-tier dweller all the way to challenging for the LEC throne. And this wasn’t a one-off thing either: they truly are the next “breed of LEC talent” and watching them evolve and adapt has been a chief delight of the post-franchising LEC era.
Talented players are always a necessity, but talent alone means very little without a coaching staff that can guide and nurture it appropriately. Fortunately for Rogue, their coaching staff has definitely been up to the task and the same goes for the individual players as well.
Unfortunately for the boys in blue, just a single win separated them from becoming the LEC champions; still, the fact that they have failed to close things out in no way diminishes their valiant efforts. Rogue’s overall growth was on full display on so many occasions throughout the split and they should keep their heads high for they’ve already left an indelible mark in LEC history.
Toronto Ultra beats Atlanta FaZe to win CDL Stage 2 Major
Canadian team Toronto Ultra beat expectations by winning the Stage 2 Major of the 2021 Call of Duty League (CDL) season, defeating Atlanta Faze 5-3 in the process. Furthermore, this was the first time in over three years that a roster full of European players won a Call of Duty esports major. Even though they came home with $200 thousand in cash prize and 75 CDL Points, the road was full of obstacles, finishing an epic showdown against Atlanta FaZe.
GET THE CHAMPAGNE & MAPLE SYRUP 🍾🍁
— Toronto Ultra (@TorontoUltra) April 12, 2021
Toronto Ultra Win Big
At first glance, both contestants were pretty even in the CDL Stage 2 Major Grand Finals before Toronto pulled out ahead. Atlanta even managed to score the first round with a safe 250 to 198 victory on Hardpoint. Still, Ultra did not let them get ahead and came even with a 6-3 win on Search and Destroy.
It was then that something unexpected happened. Over the course of the season, FaZe dominated Toronto Ultra on respawn modes. However, with a close 3-2 score, Toronto managed to clutch it for the first time of the season. That clearly hit Atlanta’s morale but they did not surrender and worked hard to regain the lead with a 250-147 win on Hardpoint and a close 6-5 round on Search & Destroy.
But it was clearly Toronto that had the final word. With an amazing performance from Tobias “CleanX” Jønsson on Control, Ultra stepped up. Then, FaZe showed signs of weakness on both S&D and Hardpoint, which Toronto used to seal its final victory.
CDL Stage 2 Major
It was clearly one of the most amazing underdog runs the Call of Duty esports scene had seen in a long time. No one expected the team to compete at that kind of level. In addition, the Toronto Ultra has been in poor rhythm over the last few months.
February was particularly tough for them with a streak of four losses. Then, in the first Call of Duty League Major, they lost 0-3 to Los Angeles Thieves. Stage 2 did not start well either with two losses against Atlanta FaZe and the thieves. Basically, their entire Stage 2 Major run showed everyone how Toronto built on its previous defeat to create its own path.
Now holding 125 points, Toronto Ultra made its way to the upper half of the Call of Duty League standings and should take the fifth spot over LA Thieves. Its victory at the CDL Stage 2 Major also prevented Atlanta FaZe from taking an even bigger lead with now only 225 points.
Written by Charles FUSTER
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Cloud9’s Blaber Wins the 2021 LCS Spring Split MVP Award
Cloud9’s Rober “Blaber” Huang is the 2021 LCS Spring Split MVP! This is the second time this prodigious North American jungler has been awarded this highly coveted award, which is not only astounding in and of itself but also a true testament to his talent and overall potential.
Two MVP awards in just three splits. Let that one sink in. It boggles the mind. The rest of his team deserves a shout-out as well, but it was Blaber who delivered on a consistent basis and was Cloud9’s most important catalyst. He was the driving force behind much of their success and was always up to the task.
Team Liquid’s Lucas “Santorin” Tao Kilmer Larsen was the only jungler in North America who could trade blows with Blaber, but he wasn’t as big of a catalyst for his team. More often than not, a motivated Blaber was all it took for Cloud9 to win regardless of whom they were up against. He’s the kind of hardcarry jungler who only needs the smallest of openings to capitalize. Watching him perform has been an absolute pleasure.
A Statistical Breakdown
Statistically speaking, Blaber had a mind-blowing regular season. 5.1 KDA, 72.2% Kill Participation, 23.9% Kill Share, and 56% First Blood Rate — truly astounding numbers. That, however, is just the start: Blaber did over 400 damage per minute. The second-best jungler in that statistic did just a bit over 300. It’s fair to say that Blaber utilized the age-old “see hero, kill hero” method, and it worked wonderfully.
Calling him the best North American jungler of all time still feels somewhat premature, but if he continues performing so darn well it’ll be impossible to deny him of that oh-so-prestigious title. He’ll have yet another shot at making history at this year’s Mid-Season Invitational, so make sure to tune in!
BLAST Premier Spring Showdown 2021 Tournament Preview and Team Power Rankings
The ESL Pro League Season 13 is all over! We have crowned our winners, Heroic, following a marvelous five-map thriller that went to two overtimes, one of which was a proper record-breaker. But, things will settle down in the next few days, just in time for another major CSGO competition, BLAST Premier Spring Showdown 2021.
And, mind you, we’re not just talking about any tournament here. True, Showdown might not be the biggest, most lucrative contest in CSGO, but it does bear a ton of importance. You see, the Spring Showdown will reward the two best teams with direct tickets for the upcoming Spring Finals. That’s what’s on the line here, that’s what every single one of these 16 teams has in their crosshair.
BLAST Premier Spring Showdown 2021 | Interesting Facts
- BLAST Premier Spring Showdown starts on Tuesday, April 13 and runs through Sunday, April 18.
- The contest has two separate brackets. The winner of each qualifies for the upcoming Finals.
- The total prize pool amounts to $162,500, $30,000 of which goes to each winning team.
- All matches in both single-elimination brackets are scheduled for best of three contests.
As mentioned earlier, BLAST Premier Spring Showdown 2021 is set to feature two single-elimination brackets. They are in no way connected; the winners don’t play against each other in a bo5 grand finals as we’ve seen on ESL Pro League. No, sir; each bracket winner gets $30,000 and a ticket to the BLAST Premier Spring Finals. It’s as simple as that! The best three scenarios are set from start to finish, with the first round starting on Tuesday at noon.
Power Rankings | First Showdown Bracket
Here are the opening-round matchups of the first BLAST Premier Spring Showdown 2021 bracket:
- Astralis vs. OG
- Endpoint vs. G2
- Spirit vs. Extra Salt
- Dignitas vs. Liquid
One thing is certain right off the bat – the winner of this bracket lies in the first two matches. It’s either Astralis or G2, which means the one of two BLAST Premier Spring finalists should be decided in the second round here.
Of course, Spirit and Liquid’s likes will fancy their chances, but we all know how much Astralis need to qualify for this one. However, we also know how much upset-friendly this competition has been so far. Teams will have to proceed with caution here.
Astralis are the obvious favorites here! Even though they experienced an early exit on the recently finished ESL Pro League S13, they’re still regarded as one of the best teams out there. You know how they say – form is temporary, class is permanent. Well, I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say that the Great Danes are nothing but the epitome of CSGO class!
Device and the boys’ form isn’t the greatest, though! They did have a blast in late 2020 but failed to transition it to early 2021. The second-place finish on BLAST Premier Global Final in late January is the best they’ve shown this year. That major playoff run was followed by three miserable outings, including the BLAST Premier Spring group stage. The Great Danes need to turn a new page here; that goes without saying.
Xyp9x is the player everyone expects more of in this tournament. He hasn’t been at his best over the last few months, and his lack of composure shows in the results. Without xyp9x’s clutch potential and dueling ability, Astralis can’t keep winning match in and match out. One thing is certain; they’ll need Xyp9x to step up if they are to swing past G2 and clinch Spring Finals tickets.
G2 are the dark horses in this portion of the bracket! NiKo and the boys aren’t the direct favorites with Astralis onboard, but they’ll be fancying their chances in the opening round. However, I don’t think Endpoint will go down without a fight. Plus, G2 didn’t play all that well last time they faced against heavy underdogs, so things could get fiery here.
NiKo, nexa, huNter – G2 fans better hope their marvelous trio steps up for the challenge in the opening round. If they do, chances are they’re going into a direct battle for the Spring Finals in the second round. Yessir, Astralis vs. G2 is the match that will decide things in this portion of the bracket… Yep, I’ve said it, and I’m not taking it back. Liquid/OG/Spirit will be in an uphills struggle no matter who they go up against in the grand finals.
Team Liquid has high hopes from this contest! They desperately need to get their hands on some silverware. A spot in the Spring Finals seems like the perfect occasion! EliGE and the boys in blue had solid success thus far this year. Fourth place on BLAST Premier Global Finals, semifinal finishes on DH Open NA and IEM XV World Championship. True, they had a massive mishap on ESL Pro League S13, and that’s just a different reason why they need to rise to the challenge this week.
It won’t be easy, though. As stated earlier, it’s going to be an uphill struggle. Perhaps not right off the bat nor in the second round. But, cometh the final round, cometh the problems. Astralis or G2 will be the favorites; there’s no doubt about that!
If Liquid wants to reign supreme, they’ll need to display impeccable consistency throughout the bracket. Plus, they’ll have to broaden their map pool to contest G2 and Astralis on maps they typically opt for. Team Liquid isn’t exactly in a mission impossible scenario here, but it will require all five of their starters to play at 130%.
OG and Team Spirit
OG can’t keep up with the rising stars in Europe! As soon as they win a match or two, they end up getting stomped and going back to square one. It’s a vicious, never-ending cycle that must be frustrating for everyone involved. Heck, the last time OG managed to string together more than two consecutive wins was back in early December. Long story short, I can’t see them doing anything noteworthy against Astralis, meaning they’ll get eliminated right off the bat.
As for Team Spirit, they might even be the true dark horse here; if we’re not counting G2, that is! They’re going up against Extra Salt in the first round, a matchup that shouldn’t cause too many problems. Assuming they go through, Liquid or Dignitas will be their second-round opponents, which will be a proper thriller. With a bit of luck and another one of mir’s inspiring displays, we could see Spirit venture into the finals against the better of G2 vs. Astralis.
Power Rankings | Second Showdown Bracket
What about the second bracket? Well, it’s quite packed too. We have Vitality, Heroic, FURIA, and Gambit. Given how these teams have been playing recently, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a rerun of ESL Pro League S13 here. It would be a fine way to cement the final.
Even though Team Vitality is often labeled as one of the best CSGO teams globally, they’re not the favorites in this BLAST Premier Spring Showdown 2021 bracket. Heck, they’re not even the main contenders. I’m not blowing things out of proportion here, fellas. Heroic and Gambit are the favorites here because, you know, they played in the grand finals of ESL Pro League last Sunday.
I honestly think Vitality is going to be a big flop here. Heck, they might even wreck themselves in the opener against 9z Team. That would be a massive upset; it would be the talking point of all CSGO news outlets for the whole week. Even if they do end up in the second round, though, I honestly doubt they’ll contest Heroic. The Danes are on a whole different level right now, and Vitality won’t be able to reach it!
That is unless ZywOo goes back into beast mode and deals with the insurgents. He hasn’t been terrible over the last few months, but he’s missing the usual brilliance we’ve begun to associate with him. The stats are there, but the flair is missing. If he finds it against 9z, and that’s not an impossible scenario, things might not be all that bleak for the Frenchmen.
Yep, Heroic are champions of the 13th ESL Pro League season. They clutched their way through to the title, defeating Gambit in what was one of the most thrilling bo5 grand finals in recent times. Such a feat will be difficult to repeat. Heroic has won two major titles so far this year. Who says they can’t make it three on the upcoming BLAST Premier Spring Finals?
Of course, they first have to snatch one of the two remaining tickets. Beating SAW in the opening round should be a straightforward task for the Danes. However, The Frenchmen in the second round ought to be far from that. The same goes for whoever ends up winning the lower portion of the bracket, be it Gambit or FURIA.
However, we can’t help but give Heroic the benefit of the doubt here. After all, they’re on a nine-match winning streak and look comfortable going forward. There’s not a single in-form player here, but an in-form collective as a whole. Heroic is leading the charge for international CSGO right now, and we have to point them out as the favorites here.
Can FURIA come close to reach its 2020 heights again? Well, their ESL Pro League S13 campaigns announced better things to come. Before that, they were terrible on five straight events. Can they use the last event to their advantage and come out with even more competitive displays? Can they take things up a notch and try to retrieve their long-lost form?
Despite the roster alteration, KSCAERATO and yuurih are still the best of what FURIA has to offer. The duo magnifico is the main source of their fragging ability and their critical round-winning machinery. Without these two, FURIA would fall apart right away.
Realistically, though, what are FURIA’s chances of enjoying a successful BLAST Premier Spring Showdown 2021 campaign? First off, let’s define a successful campaign – it’s the qualification for Spring Finals. Real talk here, FURIA has a decent shot! Assuming they beat their Brazilian brethren from MIBR, they’re likely to go up against Gambit and either Heroic or Vitality in the final round. Long story short, FURIA’s path to the Spring Finals is difficult, but not impossible!
Lastly, ESL Pro League S13 grand finalists, Gambit! I was certain ax1le, and the Gambit boys would clinch the title in the end. But, following two maps lost on overtime, the clutch masters themselves couldn’t clutch the key rounds to swing the match in their favor. This here is a brand-new competition. Gambit could get a sweet taste of revenge sooner than they had expected.
Gambit’s starting roster doesn’t need too much introduction. Ax1le and sh1ro are have been at the forefront of everything good that’s been happening to Gambit since the Youngsters’ promotion. Three solid players back them. Consistency is proving to be their vital strength, alongside superb clutching potential hiding in the duo above.
How many of you would love to see Gambit square off against Heroic in the final round here? I, for one, would love it. If we’re realistic here, it’s likely to happen. Of course, upsets are bound to happen somewhere, meaning nothing is guaranteed.
That’d be all from our BLAST Premier Spring Showdown 2021 preview! Less than 24 hours separate us from the start; fingers crossed we’re in for another spectacular CSGO competition!
As always, thank you for reading!
We hope to see you again soon.
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